Creature Feature – American Bullfrog

American Bullfrog

Lithobates catesbeianus

bullfrogpaversReptiles Alive Name: Jeremiah & Boom Boom

Hissstory: Both Boom Boom and Jeremiah were rescued from a grocery store that was selling live frogs as food.

RA Diet: Our bullfrogs eat meal worms, crickets, earthworms, roaches, and dead mice.

Natural Diet: Bullfrogs eat insects, minnows, and crayfish. They are also known to eat snakes, other frogs and even birds, mice, and baby alligators!

Range: These big frogs are native to the eastern and central United States, but they have been introduced all over the world.  Bullfrogs are native to the Washington DC area.

Habitat: Bullfrogs live in almost any aquatic environment including: ponds, lakes, swamps, and slow moving rivers.

Size: They can grow to 3.5-6 inches the record length 8 inches (this measurement does not include the legs.)

Lifespan: Bullfrogs can live up to 20 years.

Reproduction: Bullfrogs breed from May to July. You can hear the male bullfrogs calling at night with a loud, deep BaaaaROOOOOM making them sound a bit like a cow. Listen for them in warm weather, especially after rain.  Females may lay up to 25,000 eggs in one night! Large tadpoles hatch from big jelly like eggs. They can take over 2 years to transform into frogs (a long time for a frog).

Conservation Issues: Introduced populations of bullfrogs in the western United States are  eating native frogs and out-competing them for habitat.  This is one reason why it is very important to never release animals where they don’t belong.

Cool Facts: The bullfrog is the largest frog in North America – and one of the biggest frogs in the world. These big frogs can really jump, often 5 to 6 feet in one leap!